Friday, June 15, 2012

5 Things I'm Loving

A blogger I follow SUAR, posted earlier this week about 5 things she's loving right now and asked her readers to join her. Check out her blog, she's hilarious and always has something interesting going on.

Here's my list:

My GPS watch: In case I haven't mentioned it previously, I have the best husband ever. He supports me in all my running and doggie endeavors. He gave me a Garmin Forerunner 610 as a wedding gift last year. I love it. My method of tracking my runs used to be gmap-pedometer for my route and a regular digital watch for time. I had a heart rate monitor, but the battery died on it years ago and I never bothered to replace it. Now I have all those things in one stylish, yet bulky-on-my-puny-wrist watch. The swipe screen is great, no little buttons to fiddle with. It even reads my swipes through sweaty fingers. The feature I've been enjoying the most lately is the HR monitor. I'm really trying to slow things down on my long runs. Not an easy task for a former CrossFitter. I'm no speedy Gonzales, but I'm comfortably uncomfortable running with my HR in a high zone for a long time. Just when I think I'm running at a decently slow pace, I check the Garmin and Doh! I'm way out of the right zone. It also allows me to upload my workouts to their Garmin Connect website. I use Training Peaks for tracking my runs and it will also upload to their site. Very handy. Seeing all my runs laid out on my computer screen lets me track improvements and modify my training program accordingly. No paper necessary to record my times, just bring the watch within 20ft of my computer and it uploads automatically. No fuss, no muss.

Ruffwear Roamer Leash
My dogs' leash: Yeah, I know its not really gear for me, but I do use it for running. Prior to this leash, I tied a longer leash around my waist. I was always picking up the slack line to keep from tripping on it, or tying him shorter and occasionally stepping on his toes. After my first hands-free run with this leash, I've never gone back to my old methods. Its made by Ruffwear, a company that makes a lot of really cool dog stuff for active people. Mine is their large Roamer version, for those interested in checking it out. Its great for trail runs because its bungee is so long. I'm not clipping my dog's heels when running up hill. There's a handle close to the clip that goes my dog's harness so I can reel him in if necessary. Very handy for running in town. Some day I'll get their shorter version as well, but for now, this one does the trick.

Fave water bottle: Ultimate Direction's FastDraw Plus. Pictured is my 20oz version. I've had this thing for 4+ years and it ~never~ leaks. Ever. My love for it is renewed on every run. It's the Kicker Valve on the bottle that I love the most, but the whole bottle is great. The zipper pocket on the sleeve stores my key, dog poop bags, and a couple bucks. I think I've even squeezed my Blackberry in there on occasion. The cinch strap on the holder keeps it securely attached to my hand so no matter how sweaty I get, I can loosely hold the bottle. Awesome. I hope they never stop making them. They also come in a larger version, 26oz with the same kicker valve. We have two of each. I love that size for longer runs and my husband uses one in the gym. The sleeve comes off the 20oz bottle and fits on the 26oz bottle.

My lacrosse ball: An indispensable item for any runner to massage out calves, quads, feet and just about any other muscle in your body. This paired with a foam roller gets me though the weeks between massages. Lacrosse balls work better than tennis balls because they don't cave in when you put pressure on them. They last and last. I think this particular one has been around for more than 3 years.

Last but not least: Apples and peanut butter. Yum. My favourite snack. Crispy, tart Granny Smith apple quartered and peeled, then dipped in natural peanut butter. Even better is almond butter, but I need to make a trip to Costco to get some more. This makes a great post workout snack. Healthy carbs, high in fat, with some protein.

So that's my list. I'm also supposed to tag 5 people to do answer the same in their blogs, but since I have no visible followers yet (its only been 4 days!) I'll just put it out there to my first 5 followers.

What are your 5 favourite things right now?
Anyone else tried any of these things? 


  1. Hi Jo! I'm not sure how to "follow" but I have read your blog! I have recently re-tried the almond butter and find out that I do like it too, I don't think it's on my top 5 list, but it's not rejected anymore.. maybe my taste buds are changing.....?????
    Great blog! From your favourite neighbour :)

    1. Hi Diane! Thanks for the comment! Your tastebuds are becoming more refined! :) Just kidding! You can follow my blog by clicking in the box on the right hand side where it says 'Follow by Email' if you don't have a Google account. Then you'll get the updates automatically that way.

    2. One thing I'm loving is your blog, Jo! Dogs & running = awesome!! I can't wait to read more :)

    3. Thanks Kristen! I'm enjoying writing it! :)

  2. hey Jo! thanks for following my blog! Love your top 5 list. I am a huge fan of almond butter & apples! Yummy! I've heard about using a lacrosse ball to massage your calves. I've used a golf ball which is just plain EVIL.

    1. Hi Phaedra! Thanks for the mutual follow! Great blog! :)


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